Travel times to Westwood/UCLA using the Westside Subway Extension

 

If anyone really needs a good argument why the Westside Subway Extension should be built, I think this map showing transit travel times to the Westwood/UCLA station from other parts of L.A. County makes a pretty compelling case.

The nine-mile subway extension to Westwood would seriously improve the time it takes to get to and from Westwood from many areas across Los Angeles County. At rush hour, the subway would almost certainly be the quickest way into and out of the Westside.

The map is from the Westside Subway Extension’s Final Environmental Impact Statement/Report, which was released earlier today. Here’s the news release and here’s the link to the report.

Metro releases final environmental study for Westside Subway Extension

A map of the subway route recommended by Metro staff. Click above for a larger map.

It’s a big day for the Westside Subway Extension project. Studies for the project have been underway since 2007 and today the Final Environmental Impact Statement/Report for the nine-mile extension of the subway to Westwood is being released as required by state and federal law.

The FEIS/R explains why the project is needed, shows where it will go and details how it will be built. The report also includes the Metro staff recommendations for a final route, including the exact location of the Century City and Westwood/UCLA and Westwood/VA stations — which had not been previously finalized.

In Century City, the station is proposed for Constellation and Avenue of the Stars. The Westwood/UCLA stop would be at Wilshire and Westwood boulevards and the Westwood/VA stop on the south side of Wilshire in the parking lot of the VA Hospital. The Metro Board of Directors is scheduled to consider approving the study — including the alignment and station locations — at their April 26th meeting.

If the project is built in three phases under Metro’s long-range plan, the estimated completion date of the first phase to La Cienega Boulevard is the year 2020. If federal funding is expanded by Congress and the project can be accelerated, the estimated date for building the entire subway to Westwood would be 2022.

Metro is also holding community open house meetings to help explain the document to the public. More details are in the following news release and I’ll post more on the new report soon:

Westside Subway Final EIR Release Press Release(Final)-2

Metro to hold public hearings on unmet transit needs for North L.A. County and city of Avalon

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) will be holding a series of Transportation Development Act (TDA) Article 8 public hearings for the use of TDA Article 8 funds in the North County and the City of Avalon.

The TDA Article 8 funds are for those areas of Los Angeles County that do not have Metro service because they are located outside Metro’s service area. These areas include Antelope Valley (Palmdale & Lancaster), Santa Clarita Valley and Santa Catalina Island (City of Avalon). These hearings will determine TDA Article 8 budget funding allocation for FY2012-13 for the North County and Avalon.

This year the hearing board consists of Michael Cano, representing Supervisor Antonovich’s office, Palmdale Mayor James C. Ledford, Jason Crawford with the City of Santa Clarita and Julie Moore representing Supervisor Don Knabe’s office.

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Metro ridership sees gains in January and February

Here’s the news release:

Ridership 2012

Senate passes transportation bill by wide margin

This just in from Metro’s government relations staff — it’s a nice step forward for the America Fast Forward program:

Moments ago, the U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly (74 to 22) to adopt its surface transportation bill (S. 1813), also known as MAP-21. The bill, championed by U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and James Inhofe (R-OK), represents an unusual triumph of bipartisan legislating in the current Congress. The bill will fund surface transportation projects through 2013 at a cost of $109 billion. The bill includes an innovative finance section, entitled America Fast Forward (title II of Division A of the bill) that was the product of our agency’s Board-approved plan to accelerate our Measure R funded highway and transit program. As recently as last week, Senator Boxer praised her strong working relationship with Los Angeles County transportation leaders in crafting her bill, namely the America Fast Forward title of S. 1813.

As we shared in a Legislative Alert yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives is in recess this week. The House leadership expects to work on their surface transportation bill (HR 7) in a yet-to-be determined form when they come back to Washington next week. Metro’s federal team is actively engaging with our Los Angeles County House Delegation to ensure that they and their aides have all the information they need on our Board-approved legislative program should the House bring HR 7 to a vote next week. The current surface transportation bill extension expires on March 31, 2012.

Update on federal transportation bill

Metro’s government relations provided the agency with the following update late Tuesday. The multi-year bill provides considerable funding for transit agencies across the nation:

Today, the U.S. Senate continued debate on amendments related to S. 1813, also known as MAP-21. It is expected that the Senate will vote on final passage of the bill tomorrow. The bill will fund surface transportation projects through 2013 at a cost of $109 billion. Due to an agreement in the Senate, the bill will not be sent over to the House for consideration, ensuring a conference committee between the two chambers. The U.S. House of Representatives is in recess this week. The House leadership expects to work on their surface transportation bill (HR 7) in a yet-to-be determined form when they come back to Washington next week. Metro’s federal team is actively engaging with our congressional delegation, especially as the current surface transportation extension expires on March 31, 2012.

Video: the greening of L.A.

This video comes from the office of Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Chair Antonio Villaraigosa. With Los Angeles the largest city in L.A. County, the video also features Los Angeles’ expanding bike lane program and some of the ongoing efforts by Metro to expand and go green.

The Gold Line’s Mission Station in South Pasadena is also shown in the video. If you haven’t been out that way, it’s worth the 15-minute ride from downtown — and there’s a very good farmer’s market next to the station on Thursday afternoon and evenings.